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PwC partners rake in record £886k profit pay

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PwC’s total group profit skyrocketed by 25% to £1.2bn, as the average profit per partner this year hit £868,000.

13th Aug 2021
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The Big Four firm’s 2021 financial results for the year ended 30 June and revealed record pay for UK partners. The £868,000 average profit per partner is the highest yet - dwarfing 2020’s £685,000 and the pre-Covid profit per partner share in 2019 of £765,000. 

PwC’s 22,000 employees in the UK also saw their bonus pot reach a record high of £128m, up from £83m in 2020 and £113m in 2019. The firm also emphasised the non-monetary benefits its employees enjoyed over the past year, including an additional day off, an extra week’s pay in May and more flexibility from its new hybrid working patterns. 

Still, on the people front, PwC welcomed 3,300 new joiners over the course of the year and honoured job offers despite the uncertainty of the pandemic. 

The total profit was £1.2bn, which was up from £938m in 2020 and the gross revenue for the year increased by 2% to £4,447m. The firm put this growth down to a significant uptick in the second half of the year as client activity picked up. 

It also attributed the underlying new revenue growing by 5% due to reduced business travel expenses and client entertainment costs as a large number of its employees worked from home. 

The firm reported a greater demand across all divisions. In particular, it highlighted the extra demand for transformation advice such as digital and data strategies as clients move to the cloud. 

PwC also saw more demand for decarbonisation plans and designing and delivering hybrid working strategies. Despite this increase in demand, consulting dipped by 6% to £996m. 

The biggest revenue jump came from PwC’s deals advisory division which saw a 9% growth, with the area pulling in £854m up from £781m in 2020. 

Revenues in the tax division were mostly unchanged compared to 2020; however, this business area remains the firm’s joint biggest at £1.1bn. 

Sharing that accolade is the firm’s audit division. The business area grew by 7% and the Big Four also called attention to its audit quality results and the FRC’s “recognition of improvements and good practices in our audits”.

Unlike KPMG which was singled out for “unacceptable” bank audits, the FRC found that 80% of the audits assessed required no more than limited improvements. 

The FRC did recognise that PwC had taken steps to address the findings in the 2019/20 public report and identified improvements in the group oversight of component audits and the audit of long-term contracts.

Kevin Ellis, PwC’s chairman, defined the year as a story of two parts. 

“Last summer, like many businesses, we faced significant economic disruption and huge uncertainty about how the pandemic would play out.  

“After a challenging first six months where we held our nerve, made no redundancies and honoured job offers, we were well-placed to meet demand and create investment capacity as confidence in the market picked up. Like our clients, we see the pandemic recovery as a catalyst of profound change, driving increased demand for our deals, financing, digitisation, ESG and supply chain transformation services.

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By Hugo Fair
13th Aug 2021 12:30

Ignoring the temptation to apply my usual forensic picking apart of their business ethics and (lack of) competences, I'm reduced to simply asking ... "Have they no shame or self-awareness?"

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